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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 24, 2020 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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now it's doing something else, what it's pumping out now to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. >> we're going to have that story and more at 6:00. here's what we'll do for you. we'll monitor if governor newsom has his nightly briefing. for now to lester holt and "nightly news." . breaking news tonight president trump's new target for reopening america. the president growing impatient with the virtual shutdown of the economy. >> i would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by easter >> he's warning of suicides by the thousands if this doesn't end soon but his time line contradicting top health officials and state governors as cases surged to over 50,000 in the u.s. nearly half of all americans under stay at home orders tonight where officials fear the next u.s. hot spots will be. the desperate battle at hospitals, a shortage of protective
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equipment as doctors and nurses fall sick >> getting sick during a time when there's a pandemic is really scary. and the new alert for pregnant women spouses being barred from some delivery rooms. the showdown over that $2 trillion deal that would send checks to americans. also could air travel in the u.s. be shutdown heart breaking mistake, a man dying after taking what he thought was a drug touted by the president to prevent coronavirus. his wife surviving and speaking out to us from the hospital. the growing crack down in europe and italy, one of the deadliest days yet plus the olympics postponed, the reaction from team usa stars. and warning signs. why some coronavirus patients think they're getting better when they're not. >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt good evening, everyone americans getting mixed messages tonight at a time we can ill afford it. covid cases are exploding, doubling
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every few days in some communities in this country. now with calls at the state level growing louder and more insistent for americans to isolate, president trump focused on boosting the economy is talking about ways to get back to business soon putting him on a potential collision course with public health experts who say this is no time to lower our guard. our team is in place and leading our coverage miguel almaguer with a reality check of where we are tonight >> reporter: with nearly half of the nation's population under orders to stay at home tonight a skyrocketing number of americans are testing positive for the coronavirus as states struggle to contain the deadly outbreak. in new york the number of confirmed cases statewide is doubling every three days tens of thousands are sick >> we're not slowing it, and it is accelerating on its own. we're now looking at a bullet train because the numbers are going up that
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quickly. >> reporter: with infection spreading fast in part because of high density and commonly used surfaces, the governor says he needs ventilators for new makeshift hospitals like the javits convention center. in neighboring new jersey a ventilator is keeping jack alive >> such a good boy >> reporter: jack's parents say the recent college grad fell ill ten days ago now in critical condition the young athlete is fighting to make it to his 26th birthday next week >> he's in a coma and the nurse was nice enough to bring an ipad and show us what he looks like but we're not talking. >> reporter: across the nation in los angeles county 80% of coronavirus cases are adults 18 to 65 years old, and today the city reported the first death in a patient under 18 but those most in danger of turning critically ill remain the elderly. word this afternoon 81-year-old legendary playwright terence
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mcnally died from complications of the virus. today the president americans back to work and businesses open by next month >> i would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by easter >> reporter: with the virus spreading fast many governors are threatening fines, even jail times for ignoring orders to stay away from crowds. but there is no national mandate, and some leaders are choosing to stay open for business >> many governors today around the country have put in place shelter in place. i am not going there >> reporter: in addition to rhode island -- have no statewide regulations to keep residents home leading some to worry they could become the next epicenter for the virus. our sam brock is in houston. >> all of the biggest cities in texas including this one have issued stay at home orders, but not in rural areas where some residents tell me not enough is being done to keep them
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safe >> reporter: as the global crisis also continues to unfold a symbol of world unity the olympic games is now officially been postponed in tokyo swimmer katey ledecky was a gold winner favorite >> we know this is the right call, and we can have a little bit of time stootake a step back >> reporter: tonight a worldwide crisis hitting home as fear and unsercertainty spread across cur country >> in a white house briefing that just wrapped up there's growing concern about new yorkers who have left that area and perhaps gone to other states we are told that 60% of the nation's coronavirus cases come from the new york area anyone that's left that area needs to self-isolate for 14 days it comes as the number of cases explodes in states like here in california lester >> yeah, a very telling warning. miguel, thank you. now to the battle within the battle and that's about how we protect those trying to help us at some hospitals tonight are still
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rationing personal equipment, the protective equipment and pleading for more from their states. the federal government, even corporations here's tom costello. >> reporter: in ers and icus tonight, a pitched battle to keep patients alive but with doctors and nurses still running critically low on protective masks, face shields and gowns. in massachusetts doctors use paper bags to store and reuse their masks as they go from patient to patient. >> we are there to be at the bed side and we will be at the bed side no matter what, you so you don't think of sort of your supplies and rationing. you need to be at the bed side you're going to be at the bed side. >> reporter: some health care workers are already sick like a san diego nurse homesick and waiting for test results afraid of infecting others >> we're feeling sick. we're trying to get testing and either we're not getting the testing or the testing is taking 5, 6, 7 days to get back. >> reporter: experts continue to warn hospitals coul additional
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ventilators. a frustrated new york governor lashed out at the white house. >> where are the ventilators, where are the gowns? where are the ppes, where are the masks, where are they >> reporter: but the vice president insists help is coming >> earlier today 2,000 ventilators were shipped to new york. new york is the epicenter of the coronavirus now. 2,000 more will be arriving tomorrow. >> reporter: governor cuomo says he's bought as much protective gear worldwide as he can but probably only enough for a few weeks. meanwhile companies big and small are stepping in. ford says it will produce 100,000 face shields. it's working with 3m to ramp up production of respirator masks and with ge to expand protection of a simplified ventilator. gm and tesla alspes say it's a complicated process that takes time.
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>> we can hear the urgency in their voice and we feel that urgency. we're working as quickly as we can to get anything into their hands as possible >> reporter: meanwhile the mandemic is affecting lives beyond the icu. emily and billy sheer are expecting a baby girl any day but their hospital like many in hot zones are not allowing spouses into the delivery room. >> i'm nervous with the prospect of what happens when something goes wrong and sad about the idea he just won't get to be there at the birth of our second daughter. >> reporter: also tonight the fda has approved a administered kit for people to use at a test site, swabbing their own nose and then submitting that sample for covid-19 lab work, though it make take some time to rollout. >> talk costello, thank you. with the senate close to a deal with that huge relief package including checks for americans stocks soared today peter alexander with
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more on president trump's goal with ereopening business despite guidance from many health officials. >> reporter: president trump explaining tonight why he hopes to have the u.s. in his words opened up on easter, just 19 days away >> i think easter sunday and you'll have packed churches all over our country i think it would be a beautiful time >> reporter: but that proposed time line goes against what his top health advisor told nbc news just days ago about how long the pandemic will last >> i cannot see that all of a sudden next week or two weeks from now it's going to be over i don't think there's a chance of that >> reporter: the president arguing the white house's social distancing guidelines could be eased to allow americans back on the job >> we can socially distance ourselves and go to work and you'll have to work a little bit harder >> reporter: and that the economy cannot wait >> you can destroy a country this way by closing it down. you're going to lose a country into autting massive recession or
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depression you're going to lose people you're going to have suicides by the thousands. >> reporter: top democrats warning the president not to loosen restrictions too soon >> what the president is suggesting is really a formula for more uncertainty, more infections and more harm to the economy. >> reporter: whatever the president decides americans are still subject to restrictions set by governors and mayors including shelter in place orders and school closures. all of it as the senate nears a deal for that $2 trillion emergency relief package. the bill expected to green light checks to most americans, about $1,200 per person, $3,400 for a family of if you, and four month salary for workers who are furloughed as for that easter time line late tonight dr. fauci weighed in saying he's spoken with the president and that date is, quote, very flexible that they will need to evaluate its feasibility first. lester >> all right, peter alexander, thank you and for now the
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pain is only getting worse for american businesses and their workers as those job losses grow. here's jo ling kent. >> reporter: tonight across the country businesses large and small shutting jobs as the impact of coronavirus deepens. major airlines grappling with the possibility of cutting even more domestic flights as so many take off nearly empty. florida now mandating that anyone flying from new york, nooumg or connecticut must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. the airlines worry that other states may follow florida's lead. in picturesque hudson, wisconsin, stores are closing their doors to adhere to the governors new safer at home order going into effect thursdamoing. years. >> yes, we can last but how long i don't know >> reporter: throughout the country restaurant reservations have plumted to near zero as millions stay in. andrew was forced to
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close the portland keserant he owns with his wife furloughing all but one employee >> there's frustration as to not having control over something we've worked very hard to build and just sadness for our staff in not being able to provide them answers >> reporter: all this pain coast to coast and adding up. jobless claims are surging, crashing some state unemployment websitewise the unemployment rate expected to hit 9% by the end of the year. on thursday we'll find out how many people filed for unemployment claims, and that number is expected to be in the millions in the meantime businesses say even after this pandemic is over they expect it'll to recoveras lester >> boy, thisk in 60 seconds with all the out effort to recruit nurses and keep them safe and a desperate situation as americans turn to unproven drugs.
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nearly one fifth of the world's
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population is under lockdown tonight now that india is the latest country to impose strict rules. but china where the virus originated is looking very different. here's richard engel >> reporter: china is finally reopening. visitors returning to the great wall the beijing zoo opened, too. even wuhan the city where the coronavirus broke out is slowly returning to normal life after two months on lockdown. but india, the second most inhabited nation is heading in the other direction. announcing a 21-day lockdown for its 1.3 billion citizens in italy the death toll spiked again today, around 700 near record levels. but people are still breaking the rules the country's mayors fed up with the frustration, sacrifice, too an elderly priest whilor for a younger patient he didn't know died
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today. in the u.k. organizational problems limits on public transport have meant that the subways still running are packed one virus patient speaking out >> please, none of you take any chances i mean it. >> reporter: i spoke to a mathematician specializing on how epidemics spread do you believe the numbers that are out there? >> i think it's very likely that most case numbers are substantially underreported. the u.s. and the u.k. probably have many, many times more infections out there than are showing up in the data >> reporter: richard engel, nbc news, london >> and we keep coming back to medical workers. there's so much demand for nurses right now some hospitals are offering major perks to keep them and us safe here's cynthia mcfadden >> reporter: across america tonight millions of nurses are fighting on the front lines of a new war catherine ramose is an
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er nurse at a hospital outside new york city. she spoke with us with an urgent plea to nurses who may still be on the side lines >> you have your license. go, help us out. we're all in this together >> they can't get them in fast enough >> reporter: michael fazio the ceo of prime staffing, an agency that recruits nurses for hospitals all over the country. how many more nurses are you looking for than you would on a normal day in march? >> i mean at least 15, 20 times now >> reporter: fazio tells us new york city hospitals are desperate for nurses especially in the icu and emergency department last week his team recruited 100 nurses for new york area hospitals. they need to recruit nearly 2,000 more. the money is great salaries twice the normal rate, which will put somr or more but perhaps more important than the money, keeping these
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nurses safe. so fazio offers a range of preces. >> my name is jessica gonzalez and i'm an icu nurse. >> reporter: like being driven to and from work in black cars whose drivers are certified healthy. >> i usually would take the subway and that eliminates all of those say 50 to i don't know even 100 people i could possibly come in contact with >> reporter: they also delivered sealed lunches to the icu, offer child care, and that's nurse ramos' daughter giving nurses like her the strength to fight on >> you know, this is the war we're battling and these are the troops we need them in there. >> reporter: cynthia mac fadden, nbc news, new york now a to a heart breaking warning we spoke with the wife of a man who died who
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think he was taking a drug to prevent coronavirus. >> reporter: tonight an arizona man is dead after he and his wife made a terrible mistake. >> this is the most horrible day of my life and it feels like -- my my heart is broken and will never mend. >> reporter: nbc's vaughn hilliard spoke with his wife who's now in an icu herself at this phoenix hospital and asked not to be identified turns out the couple ingested chloroquine phosphate which is actually used as a parasite treatment for fish she said she heard about it from trump. and then did you seek out chloroquine? but in fact the president has touted another time of chloroquine in tablet form, a malaria drug researchers are testings a possible coronavirus treatment though there's been no
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clinical trials proving it works >> there's a real chance it could have a tremendous impact. >> reporter: another drug hydroxychloroquine now surging demand is causing shortages for lupus patients like bonny leiberman. >> i am considering half dosing my medication to make it last longer than it would if i took it normally >> reporter: pharmacist robert paconelli in new york is now rationing the drug >> the demand has been absolutely nor than we could imagine it has ever been for this drug >> reporter: it ihighlights the desperation some americans feel around hopeful and unproven medical treatments for covid-19 >> all right, gabe, thank you. up next a new warning about symptoms
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welcome back joining us now is our medical correspondent dr. john torres. john, walk me through what the symptoms look like for people who get this virus, what can they expect? >> well, lester, unlike the flu which hits you all of a sudden coronavirus symptoms start more gradual. what people describe as a slow burn people say i had a slight cough, a headache and a low grade fever and they the emergency room because eventhy they thought they were getting better they end up getting chest pain and difficulty breathing. if you start feeling better you still need to keep your guard up because you might not be out of the woods yet. >> what a lot of people would describe
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as a double wammy, doctor, thank you. coming up tonight, the dream still strong for america's olympians.
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faz faz finally stephanie gosk with a salute to our olympians. >> reporter: there reel is no other event
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that brings the world together like the olympics, and that is, of course, why the world has to wait. >> it is bigger than the sport. it is actually about the well-being of society as a whole >> reporter: today u.s. athletes handled the difficult news with impressive grace. >> it allows everyone to kind of envision the path forward, and now we know what we're working with >> reporter: and good humor. lolo jones new take on the breakfast of champions. when the u.s. team does get its chance, it will be well worth the wait simone bielz ready to change four gold medals into many more. the womens soccer team out for revenge after a tough time in reo. and then there are the runners. chasing usain bolt's records. >> the dream is still here it's been delayed but it hadn't been denied. >> reporter: tonight they're all likely disappointed but by no means defeated stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york >> and that's "nightly
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news." i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. right now at 6:00 enforcing the law durtling the pandemic. we break down the crime rate as the bay area continues to battle the coronavirus. the news at 6:00 starts right now. thanks for joining us in the net net bay area studios. >> it is day eight in the shelter at home for all of us and the virus showing no signs of slowing down. we were watching it together in the newsroom. a lot of sobering statistics he passed along again. >> 2100 positives in california right now and in the last 24 hours, we've seen a nearly 20% increase in cases, 17.5. sadly a southern california teenager died from the virus,
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emphasizing that no one is not at risk for the virus. the u.s. says mercy hospitalship expected to arrive in port as early as friday and richard branson of virgin is bringing a 747 into oakland stock woued wi personal protection gear. despite these efforts the governor does not think the shelter in place is realistic to be lifted in april. in fact, he called it misleading for californians. >> this crisis is how it can impact everybody and anybody. it's sobering. young people can and will be impacted by this virus. in fact, young people


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